Representative image. Courtesy: Millennium Post

The militant faction of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh called neo-JMB has intensified its recruitment.

It has also begun its propaganda in villages on Bangladesh’s borders with Assam and Meghalaya in the wake of the NRC process.

Bangladesh intelligence officials said that their sources have pointed to regular visits of senior neo-JMB leaders in the area.

“With tens of thousands of exclusions from the NRC, there is grounds well of anger in minority areas of Assam and a feeling of solidarity with them in the villages of Bangladesh,” said a senior Bangladesh intelligence official.

But he chose anonymity on grounds he was not authorized to brief media.

“The neo-JMB is trying to capitalize on the situation to step up its propaganda for recruitment and to secure support of locals on either side of the border,” the senior Bangladesh intelligence official added.

The official said that he had instructed his men to closely follow the neo-JMB activities and seize their members with help of police.

“Our security forces battered this Islamist group by decimating their leaders since the Dhaka bakery attack four years ago. Most of their leaders fled to India,” said the official.

“Now many of them have been arrested in West Bengal and south Indian states,” the official added.

The official further said, “So they are trying to activate the border with Assam for movement of rebels, weapons, for recruitment.

He said the mosques and madrassas on the Bangladesh side of the border used by neo-JMB have been identified by Bangladesh intelligence.

“We will take strong action but we hope the Assam police and Indian security forces in that state are equally alert to the threat,” he further said.

“They have been busy with the NRC but now they will hopefully focus on the JMB threat because it is a threat for both countries,” the official added.

He asserted that intelligence sharing and border patrolling between India and Bangladesh have picked up.

“But we now need more focus on specific threats like JMB,” he said.

Bangladesh intelligence has identified some of the routes used by neo-JMB for movement of weapons.

“These weapons are coming into Bangladesh from Myanmar through northeast Indian states like Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam. We have alerted our border guards,” said the Bangladesh official.

He said the Karimganj and the Dhubri stretch on the Assam side is particularly sensitive and must be closely watched.

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